Creality Ender 3 V2 Neo review: specs, assembly, price and my opinion after 6 months

My first 3D printer of choice was the then fresh Ender 3 V2 Neo. It seemed like a really beginner friendly, well equipped, almost instantly usable machine and it was. But let’s look at what convinced me that it could be a good choice and what it has to offer that’s important to know as a beginner when buying a 3D printer.

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Let’s start at the beginning… For those who don’t know, the Creality Ender 3 series is a famous basic machine with lots of community support, firmware, aftermarket accessories, printable mods, etc. and therefore a great work horse for even businesses.

V2 added many of the little things the community demanded, and now the “Neo” series has once again taken a big step towards incorporating basic mods. While there are some differences in design elements, for function a beginner or someone with less need for a tinker is perfect.

Packaging and unpacking

The Ender 3 V2 Neo comes in a rather large box, which is larger than previous versions of the Ender 3 as it comes partially assembled. However, the tower is not fixed to the base to save space. Everything stays well in the thick foam with cut-outs. The parts are located in the cut-outs in the foam on top, the tower is underneath and the base is at the bottom of the box. The parts are very well protected and separated from each other to protect them from shipping damage, similar to what we see with other Creality printers.

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The printer comes with a typical set of accessories, including a number of spare parts, assembly tools and recessed cutting pliers (very useful for cleaning prints!).

Assembling the Ender 3 V2 Neo

I was pleased to see that the connectors are all labelled and can only be inserted one way, making the assembly process very beginner-friendly. The instructions indicate which connector goes where, so it’s easy to identify the correct connector.

Although the text and illustrations in the supplied paper manual are poor, the supplied micro SD card contains a full manual with much easier to read text and illustrations. The connectors all branch out from a single harness that starts from the motherboard housing.

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The process itself takes no more than 10 minutes even for beginners, but it is recommended to follow the instructions!

Place the tower in place and secure it with screws. This is tricky, as the whole printer with the unattached tower assembly has to be pushed over the edge of the work surface so that the screws can be inserted from below and tightened. Once one screw is tightened and the tower is firmly secured, the other screws are much easier to install.

Remember, it’s not necessarily good to have one screw fully tight because it will be difficult to get the others in the right place. Also, it is important to then use a spirit level (if you have one at home) to check if everything is ok or if one of the 4 screws will not let the others into place properly.

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The display is mounted on a bracket (flush-fit) and the bracket is fixed to the rail with 3 screws. When the display is mounted on the bracket, the top screw is difficult to access, so it is best to mount the bracket without the display and then replace the display back on the bracket afterwards.

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Finally, plug in the display wiring from the correct direction.

Next up is the filament roll holder. It is recommended to place this in the most extreme position, here I had no “rubbing” problem after 6 months, but I added a small printed accessory after a few months and it has been 100x better since then.

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Next up are the tiny motor control cables. These can be immediately identified where they belong thanks to the labelling.

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The next step is a small cable tie, so the hot end cable doesn’t fray anywhere. There is now a slot that can be used for this:

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Finally, the included accessories can be thrown in the small drawer and put in their place and the filament extruder reel can go in its place.

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If everything is fine and we are on a stable surface then feel free to plug in the power cable and check that the voltage is set to our country, or 230V and not 120.

New features

CR-touch automatic table levelling

CR Touch was obviously inspired by BLTouch, and this type of bed levelling system works by using a touch-sensing probe to ‘scan’ the surface of the bed and take account of any unevenness it detects. The CR Touch system nudges 16 separate points during your routine.

It saves time and effort, and with a little Z-shifting here and there, more or less guarantees a high-quality first coat.

Full metal bowden extruder

The Ender 3 V2 was always a 3D printer with a Bowden extruder, but Creality has updated the Neo version with an all-metal extruder. This should mean greater durability and superior filament handling. Creality also claims to have higher extrusion force, but it doesn’t say more than that.

Flexible magnetic build plate (build plate)

The Creality comes with a PC-coated, flexible magnetic building board made of magnetic spring steel. It has worked well with several consumer 3D printing filaments, and is easy to flake off by the time it bends and peels off the printed piece itself.

It is one of the best building surfaces for beginners and is definitely an improvement over the old carborundum glass tiles that were used before.

Motherboard

Creality highlights in the marketing materials for the new V2 Neo that it has a very quiet 32-bit motherboard – just 50 dB, it claims. That’s pretty quiet for a 3D printer.

This is probably the same motherboard that was used in Ender 3 V2, namely V4.2.7. The motherboard has integrated TMC2225 steppers and micro-SD and micro-USB ports.

In fact, the noise was not bad during the 6 months, but the fan was still spinning a lot and sleeping with it is definitely not possible, unless it’s that white noise for someone.

Other important new features of interest in the Neo series include:

  • Strap tensioning rollers – easier handling
  • Resume option in case of power failure
  • Beginner-friendly assembly in 10 minutes

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Technology : Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)
  • Vintage : 2022
  • Assembly : Partly assembled
  • Mechanical layout : right-angled XZ-head
  • Construction volume : 220 x 220 x 250 mm
  • Dispensing system : Bowden
  • Print head : Single nozzle
  • Nozzle size : 0,4 mm
  • Max. warm end temperature : 260 ℃
  • Max. heated bed temperature : 100 ℃
  • Printing bed material : PC-coated spring steel plate
  • Frame : Aluminium
  • Display:  4.3-inch LCD
  • Connect to : SD card, USB
  • Restore printing : Yes
  • Camera:  No
  • Filament diameter : 1,75 mm
  • Filament materials PLA, ABS, PETG, flexible
  • Recommended slicer: Creality Slicer, Cura, Simplify3D, Repetier-Host
  • Operating system : Windows, Mac OSX, Linux
  • File types : STL, OBJ, AMF
  • Frame dimensions : 438 x 424 x 472 mm
  • Weight : 9,8 kg

My opinion after 6 months of use

As a first-time printer, you may fall into the trap of overlooking it initially. That’s why I’m writing this test after 6 months, I’ve had all the swearing and logical improvements here.

Apart from the initial settings (I’m tapping), I had no problems. It’s important to note that I didn’t change the basic controller software, I didn’t mod the cooling, but I did add an important component that I didn’t have to warranty. This was a Beagle Cam that I used to control the printer via wifi…I’ll tell you about that in another test.

I printed out 3 kilograms of filament, both useful and useless, tested settings, how fast it was, how loud it was, whether it was possible to work and sleep with it, tried everything I could. Can’t sleep next to it, but everything else was fine 🙂

For a first printer, for a small business, for kids to learn the technology, I think it’s a great buy. Especially as the price has since gone down on the Geekbuy site, where I ordered from the Polish warehouse (it arrived in 1 week).

Where I bought it: Direct link to Geekbuyer with great price:
https://barnab.hu/ender3v2neo

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